Is it possible to launch a car without launching a car? GM did just that at the 2009 North American International Auto Show, revealing the first image of the 2011 Chevrolet Spark minicar while rolling out onto the show stand the similar 2007 Beat concept. The production hatchback will appear live and in the sheetmetal at the 2009 Geneva motor show, but we sat down with sources close to the program to learn a little bit more.
It Looks Familiar
It should. If you'll recall the 2007 New York auto show, you'll remember a trio of pint-sized concepts: the Beat, the Trax, and the Groove. Each represented a possible design direction for GM's forthcoming new production minicar. GM asked the public to vote for their favorite design on its website.
Some two million votes were cast, and the Beat came out on top. The sole photo shown of the production 2011 Spark is almost a dead ringer for the Beat concept, save for the addition of two rear doors. GM hasn't shown an interior photo, but sources suggest it too will closely ape the concept's cabin and include niceties like MP3 audio systems and Bluetooth connectivity.
From Bupyong, With Love
As with both the Aveo and the current Spark/Matiz (sold in Europe and other markets), GM's leveraged its Korean Daewoo subsidiary for both development and production. That will be the same for the new Spark. Although engineering was overseen by Opel in Russelshiem, Germany, most activity, including assembly, will be performed in South Korea.